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What Is A "Fair Share" Relative To Taxes?

  1. GA Anderson profile image83
    GA Andersonposted 22 months ago

    Much is heard of a demand that corporations and the wealthy pay their "fair share" of taxes, but I have heard little of what that share should be.

    With only a single restriction; that the discussion is about legal tax actions, what should that "fair share" be?

    One could say that the wealthy are already carrying an unfair tax burden with our progressive taxing structure - what is fair about making someone pay more just because they can?

    That is the black and white of this fairness issue. But obviously in a society there must be a social compact, and in the case of taxes to support our nation, I think it is acceptably fair that the wealthy do pay a higher rate.  Specifically I think the current range of about 38% is the maximum "fair" demand.

    If I may preempt those that will retort that the politicians will always spend whatever they have and ask for more, I say of course they will, so let me add a second parameter and frame the question with an unlikely presumption that our government will operate in a fiscally responsible manner.

    So, what say you, what is a "fair share?"

    GA

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      "Fair" is that everyone pays the same.  No corporate double taxation (tax profits and then tax them again when the owners receive them).  I will go so far as to say that it is "fair" that no child pays anything.

      Unfortunately, the country can't operate on that basis, and that leaves us with some paying more for the same service as others.  I'd go with your 38% as probably the fairest we can get and still have a country.  But 38% of income, income not reduced to half (or less) by deductions designed to buy votes for politicians.

      1. GA Anderson profile image83
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        You ended your comment with the real fly-in-the-ointment - deductions and loopholes.  Instead of asking why are they allowed to use loop holes, we should be asking why are the loop holes are there.

        And the answer is... governmental social engineering! Both parties are guilty. 

        Set the standard, (the tax rate), and then take care of business. Stop trying to manipulate human behavior with a carrot and stick - that is not government's job! Lead us, but don't try to control us. If we don't see it your way... too bad, so sad, it is either your loss or ours, but still, regardless of the outcome, the choice should be ours and not the governments.

        An interesting side-note: I am currently reading a very critical biography of Churchill. Churchill The End of Glory by John Charmley and throughout there is ample evidence of the mentality of the British leaders through the 1904 - 1933 time period. And that mentality is that the people just don't know enough to lead themselves - they need the political aristocracy to look out for them. My first thought is OH my Gawd! the audacity! My second thought is, Damn, They were right!

        Want proof that the U.S. is in the same boat? Look at Fox News and MSNBC - two sides of the same coin. Would you want either to be making our national security decisions. Talk about mob rule... geesh.

        GA

    2. profile image0
      Old Poolmanposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      GA - My opinion, and everyone has one, a flat rate for everyone would be fair.  If I remember my math correctly, 15% of a million is way more than 15% of a hundred.  Those who earn more would pay more just because of the rules of mathematics.

      It is grossly unfair to demand that high achievers be punished when the tax man comes knocking on their door.

      If everyone paid taxes at the same fair rate we would not even be talking about this today.

      1. GA Anderson profile image83
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        Hello again Old Poolman,

        I used to agree with you about a flat tax, but I nave since changed my mind. A society as large and diverse as ours needs a progressive tax, and yes, unfortunately that means some social engineering taxes. I don't like it, but it would be unrealistic to deny it.

        Oh well, we still have the choice to control it. But we don't have the choice to deny it.

        GA

        1. profile image0
          Old Poolmanposted 22 months ago in reply to this

          GA - then you don't feel that with a flat percentage rate that high income earners would pay more in tax?  I just can't agree that high earners should pay a higher percentage.  For clarification I would not be in an income bracket that would pay a higher percentage,

          1. wilderness profile image95
            wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

            Total personal income of the US is about 13 T.  Total income tax collections is about 2T.  Should we continue the self defeating action of borrowing from the future, that still leaves a necessary collection of 15% of all income.  Including 15% from the guy with 4 kids trying to survive on $25,000 per year; his income tax will go from a "refund" of $5,000 to $3750.  A loss of $8750 for a family of 4 living on $25,000.  Is that what you're proposing?

            I like a flat tax, but unless you put in some big deductions/exemptions, an awful lot of people aren't going to make it.  And if you do, the rate goes way up, making more deductions necessary.

            1. profile image0
              Old Poolmanposted 22 months ago in reply to this

              Deductions are part of the problem with our current system.  Lobbyists are able to buy deductions for their clients.  These purchased deductions serve only a few and put a larger tax burden on those of us who do pay taxes.

              A flat tax also does nothing to collect taxes from cash incomes such as drug dealers, prostitutes, and other illegal means of income.

              My preference would be a National Sales Tax where taxes are paid when we purchase goods and services.  The wealthy obviously spend more than the poor and would be paying more in taxes.

              I doubt we will see much of a change in the tax structure for many more years.  Tax Preparation companies such as H&R Block hire their own lobbyists to make sure this doesn't happen.  The IRS could be cut to the bare bones putting thousands of people out of work.

              I'll also bet if we started this system with a blank page for allowable deductions,it would be less than a year before the blank page would become a small book.

              1. wilderness profile image95
                wildernessposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                A sales tax is a nice idea, but the rate would have to be pretty high.  At least 20-25%, I'd think, and paying sales tax on a $300,000 home would really hurt.

                Deductions and the blank page:
                Agree.  And some of the very first would be for children, home mortgage and medical expenses.  "Make someone else pay for the things I want or buy!" is the (unspoken) rallying cry for all deductions, and these are no different.

                1. profile image0
                  Old Poolmanposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                  There is no way that deductions would ever be fair for everyone.  Many of our citizens will never be able to buy a home so they would miss out on that one.

                  The parents with 12 children would get deductions the childless couples will not get.

                  Medical expenses should not be taxed at all for anyone.

                  The main benefit for a National Sales tax would be the everyone would pay something when they spent their money.  I have read where only about 50% pay any taxes now, and if everyone paid taxes we may be surprised at the percentage rate that would be needed to support our huge government.

                  But then this is all just speculation and it will never happen anyhow so I am probably just wasting your time and my time.

                  Always enjoy your input on these subjects.

                  1. GA Anderson profile image83
                    GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

                    Hey guy, some well-known personalities are behind the national sales tax, (consumption tax, VAT tax), idea, but if you think about it, while sounding fair, it would be one of the most damaging tax schemes you could think of for poor and lower income folks.

                    As proposed, and to meet our nation revenue needs, a consumption tax would need to be in the 20%-30% range. No problem for the wealthy, but could you live at your current level if everything you bought costs 30% more? Bear in mind that the "No income tax" would compensate answer is wrong. The people that would be hurt the most don't normally pay any income taxes.

                    In most economic valuations, almost without exception, the wealthy would benefit and the lower income folks would be hurt.

                    Yep, a VAT tax combined with a "Fair" tax makes a good sound bite, but if doesn't hold water if the goal is to reduce the tax burden on the bottom third of our taxpayers.

                    GA

    3. rhamson profile image76
      rhamsonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

      "If I may preempt those that will retort that the politicians will always spend whatever they have and ask for more, I say of course they will, so let me add a second parameter and frame the question with an unlikely presumption that our government will operate in a fiscally responsible manner."

      Might I add that is ludicrous to believe that this bunch of criminally negligent thieves and gun for hire idiot slime bags in Congress can come up with anything that remotely looks fair. Was I being a bit harsh? Nah.

      1. GA Anderson profile image83
        GA Andersonposted 22 months ago in reply to this

        No, but you were off point. Rather than a condemnation, what about the "fair" tax amount question?

        GA

  2. junko profile image64
    junkoposted 22 months ago

    Everybody pays taxes not everybody pays income taxes.

 
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